Her personal experiences have provided Ashley Snyder, BSN, RN, with a passion for her work. She describes her role as the Cancer Access Coordinator at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and explains what inspires her to continually grow in her profession.
Since graduating from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2009, I spent a majority of my career in emergency services. In 2016, I began serving the nation’s Veterans at the VA. Initially an infusion nurse in the department of hematology and oncology, I later assumed my current role of Cancer Access Coordinator. My role includes expediting the diagnostic process when there is a suspicion for cancer, creating a seamless transition for Veterans transferring their hematology/oncology care to the VA, managing the distress screening process, and coordinating bone marrow transplants. I am also the chair of the Hematology/Oncology Unit Practice Council, co-chair of the facility’s Pathways/Magnet Committee, and a member of the Nurse Practice Standards Board. In addition, I am currently pursuing a MSN in Nursing Executive Leadership.
Cancer devastated my family when I lost both my grandmother--an amazing baker and a loving woman, and my grandfather--a kind, hardworking Korean War Veteran, to cancer. They meant the world to me and witnessing the courage they had in their fight, inspired me to help others fight their battle. I have personally felt the pain and suffering a cancer diagnosis can bring to a patient and their family, which is why my job is so important to me. My role as the Cancer Access Coordinator is to be the calming and reassuring voice in a Veteran’s care. I use the relationships within my team and multidisciplinary services throughout the medical center, to help ensure the best possible care is provided for our Veterans.
I have met so many amazing people over the years who continue to fight each and every day against this horrific disease. Their bravery, perseverance, and courage continues to inspire me. One thing that comforts me and drives my pursuit of further education is seeing the competence, compassion, and dedication of not only my peers, but also those in leadership roles above me. Witnessing the level of care they provide to our nation’s Veterans inspires me to be the best version of myself, so that I may provide the best for those who deserve it the most.